HURST CASTLE

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“Here Walter Scott has woo’d the Northern muse;

Here he with me has joyed to walk or cruise;

Hence have we ranged by Celtic camps and barrows,

Or climb’d the expectant bank, to thread the Narrow

Of HURST, bound westward to the gloomy bower

Where Charles was prisoned in yon island-tower.”

W. Stewart Rose.

AMONG the numerous objects which confer particular interest and beauty on the

neighbourhood of Lymington, the most prominent is Hurst Castle, of which a striking

view is presented in the annexed Engraving. It was erected by Henry the Eighth, as a

fortress for the protection of this part of the Channel from piratical inroads and hostile

aggression, and to give his “loving subjects” a strong and lasting pledge of his “paternal

solicitude” for their welfare. It is situated near the extremity of a remarkable, natural

causeway, or point of land, which runs boldly into the sea to a distance of nearly two

miles, and exhibits these massive battlements to great advantage. Its works of defense

consist of a circular tower, strengthened by semicircular bastions; and when armed

and garrisoned in a manner becoming the important trust confided to it, must have

presented a very formidable appearance.

Lymington, to whose neighbourhood this formidable stronghold serves as an

attractive feature, is now well known and much frequented as a delightful watering-

place. It stands about a mile from the narrow channel which separates the main land

from the Isle of Wight. Owing to the daily increasing facilities of communication, the

picturesque scenery of the New Forest, the various objects of interest and notoriety with

which the vicinity abounds, and the delightful prospects which may be enjoyed from

the windows of the apartments as well as from the adjoining walks, Lymington is well

deserving of the commendation which it has uniformly received from all strangers.*

Among the many tempting rides and walks which are open to the public, and

present a continual variety of sea and inland views, the most interesting are those to

Mudiford, Milford, Boldre, Beaulieu, and High Cliff. On the latter the late

• The cliffs which extend towards Hurst Castle abound in marine fossils, shells, and petrifactions,

from which many excellent collections have been made.

Earl of Bute erected a magnificent edifice, in consequence of an early and strong

partiality to the spot; for here, he observed, he had always slept soundly, when be

could find that luxury nowhere else. The view from this point is one of the finest in the

kingdom. The house, though much reduced in size, and modernized by the present

owner, has rather gained than lost by the change ; while the salubrious quality of the

air has certainly not deteriorated. Boldre contains much picturesque scenery, which will

be still more highly appreciated when the stranger is informed that in the vicarage of this

parish, and amidst the scenes which daily met his eye, the late Rev. and pious William

Gilpin composed his popular work on Forest Scenery.* Beaulieu is interesting as having

been the seat of a rich abbey, founded in 1204; the refectory of which has been long

used as a parish church. +Mudiford possesses a fine level sandy beach, of wide extent,

admirably adapted for sea-bathing, and commanding a variety of scenes and objects

of great beauty. It was a favourite with George the Third and Queen Charlotte, when at

Weymouth, who honoured Mr. Rose with a visit at his picturesque cottage on the beach.

* Remarks on Forest Scenery and other Woodland Views, illustrated by the Scenery of New

Forest. 1791. The Picturesque Tours, by the same author, display a deep and correct feeling of the

beauties of nature. At his death, in 1804, he appropriated a collection of his Sketches to the endowment

of t. school at Boldre.

+ The pulpit belonging; to this ancient refectory is the most perfect and elegant relic of its kind in

England.

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